‘Hearing these complaints and others like them continually, I commemorate the past, in order that it may come to the knowledge of the future.’
Gregory of Tours, Preface to Decem libri historiarum
The special thematic strand of the IMC 2018 is ‘Memory’. As the organisers note, there are many kinds of memory, which permeate the writing of history – for modern scholars as much as our medieval predecessors. In these sessions we seek to examine how memory can be put to use as a tool for creating or perpetuating ideas of community.
The purpose of these sessions is to investigate the construction and dissemination of imagined communities through the creation of cultural memories in early medieval Europe. Communities could exist on a variety of levels, from the community of a monastery to the community of a kingdom. But what were the histories behind such groups? What were their origin stories, and how were these used? How were contemporary communities connected to distant places and times, whether real or imagined? How were the historical relationships between different groups remembered? Why were some members of the community remembered, while others were forgotten? How were notions of community altered or retained during the Early Middle Ages?
We hope to bring together papers that address these and related questions in order to examine the cultures of early medieval Europe as seen through the ways in which inhabitants of the region understood their place in the wider world. We also invite proposals for papers which examine strategies of exclusion such as damnatio memoriae, and papers which seek to overturn traditional interpretations of early medieval communities by modern scholars.
Paper proposals are welcome from all disciplines, including history, art history, archaeology, literary studies and manuscript studies.
Possible topics and themes may include but are not limited to:
After the IMC, we hope to publish the contributions to these sessions as a volume of collected essays through our sponsor Kısmet Press.
Please send abstracts of no more than 300 words to Ricky Broome (firstname.lastname@example.org) by 3 September 2017.
Image. The sons of Clovis II, oil on canvas painting by Évariste Vital Luminais, 1880, Art Gallery of New South Wales